Exiled SPLM-IO rebel leader Riek Machar has called for armed struggle to topple the government in Juba – a stance that suggests the country could face a renewed civil war in the near future.
Riek Machar and top officials of now split SPLM-IO party issued a statement saying their forces would reorganize to “wage a popular armed resistance against the authoritarian and racist regime of President Salva Kiir.” It’s the first political statement by Machar since he fled South Sudan in August.
The statement, came after a meeting Saturday of Machar and his supporters in Khartoum, Sudan.
His call for armed resistance adds to South Sudan’s spiraling problems.
“We have been driven back to the bush,” James Gadet, a spokesman for Machar, told news Agency AP on Saturday in a call from Nairobi, Kenya.
Gadet called for the removal of Taban Deng Gai, who was controversially named to replace Machar as First Vice President. He says the South Sudan government must stop attacking civilians and a regional protection force must be deployed in the country or there will be “an escalation of the civil war,” which he says began again on July 8.
“(We) call on the international community to declare the regime in Juba a rogue government,” the document says, adding that international agencies monitoring the peace deal should “suspend their activities” until the agreement is “resuscitated.”
Juba-based SPLM-IO dismissed
According to the statement issued on Saturday from Khartoum, Sudan, the exiled SPLM-IO faction led by Riek Machar has resorted to dismiss senior members who are in Juba as part of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU).
The dismissed members led by Taban Deng Gai include, Alfred Lado Gore, Dhieu Mathok Diing, Richard Mulla, Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Hussien Mar Nyuot, Lumumba Di-Aping and Sophia Pal Gai.
The Taban Deng led faction of SPLM-IO is yet to respond to Riek’s faction statement.
Parts of this report by [AP]